1 Grades 4 and up: Ages 9 to 12; ISBN: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers An imprint of Macmillan Children s Publishing Group mackids.com ABOUT THE BOOK ALIGNS WITH CCSS! The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield s father promised he wouldn t go away to fight but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn t know where his father might be, other than that he s away on a special, secret mission. Then, while shining shoes at King s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father s name on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realizes his father is in a hospital close by a hospital treating soldiers with shell shock. Alfie isn t sure what shell shock is, but he is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place.... AUTHOR John Boyne is the author of seven novels, including the acclaimed The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which was made into a Miramax feature film. His novels are published in over forty languages. He lives in Dublin, Ireland. ABOUT THE GUIDE AND COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS The activities included herein were written to correlate with the Common Core State Standards. Questions and activities develop skills outlined in Reading Literature and Informational Text as well as Writing, Speaking & Listening, Language, and Literacy in History/Social Studies. In the creation of this guide, the assumption is made that teachers will take their students through the 5 steps of the writing process. Enjoy! GREAT READ FOR ENGLISH AND HISTORY CLASSES!
2 In the following segments, we are highlighting the key College and Career Readiness anchor standards (CCRA), but depending on your process, others will most definitely apply. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the activities to attain specific Common Core grade level standards for their classrooms and students. You know your kids best! PRE-READING Have students stand in a vertical line, with you at the head of the line. With the class, read the statements below as an introduction to the themes in the novel. After each statement, ask students to step to the right (agree) or left (disagree) to convey their opinion of the statements. Consider allowing students to show the degree of their feelings based on how far right or left they step. Between statements ask students to explain and defend their position. Wisdom comes with age and experience. Children should never have adult responsibilities. Girls have to work harder than boys to be taken seriously. Parents should protect their children from bad news. Being a good family member sometimes means doing things you don t want to do. It s okay to eavesdrop on people s conversations if you think they are lying to you. Not fighting for your country is an act of cowardice. In a time of war, it is a safety measure to be suspicious of foreigners. Emotional scars can be just as bad as physical scars. After the activity, ask the students to share their expectations for the novel based on their discussion of these ideas. Correlates to CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.L.1 FOLLOW-UP ASSIGNMENT On the Prove It! worksheet provided, have students select one of the statements above that most interests them and write a few sentences explaining whether or not they agree with the statement and why. Assign students a character from the novel and as they read, instruct them to pay close attention to evidence/ details from the novel that proves whether this character would agree or disagree with the statement. They should note the details (i.e., dialogue, character s actions, thoughts, etc.) on the worksheet to help develop their argument. After reading the novel, have students use their notes to write a short essay arguing whether or not their character would agree or disagree with the chosen statement. Correlates to CCRA.R.1&2, CCRA.W.1 2
3 PROVE IT! Statement: Agree or disagree? Why? Character: Details and Quotes from Novel Connection to Statement Would your character agree or disagree with this statement. Why? Notes: 3
4 COMPARE IT! Complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting Georgie Summerfield s and Joe Patience s attitudes toward their country, the war, loyalty and friendship. Include specific details from the text within your diagram. Based on your diagram, discuss the significance of Joe Patience s presence in the novel. Correlates to CCRA.R.1&3 ILLUSTRATE IT! Stay Where You Are & Then Leave is not only the title of the novel, but is also repeatedly used throughout the text. How does the repetition of this line create suspense, fear and movement in Boyne s writing? Reread pages and pay close attention to the imagery Boyne uses to appeal to his readers five senses. Imagine you are hired to illustrate this scene. You may use any medium you choose (pencil, collage, digital, paint). If you use a computer program to illustrate, add sound effects! Write a one-page analysis of how the train station shares characteristics with the chaos in Georgie s and Alfie s lives. Consider why Boyne might use the train station as the setting when Georgie finally does stay and then leave. Correlates to CCRA.R.3, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.3 BUILD IT! With your class, research social classes and hierarchy in World War I England and then reread pages Consider how Alfie s shoeshine box could be used to symbolize what you just learned about the social hierarchy. Create an actual model of your own shoeshine box. What cleaning and polishing instruments do you have in your box? Feel free to add some new tools that are not in the novel. In an essay, summarize what you learned in your research and explain how each tool in your box relates to the elements of the struggle among the social classes. Be sure to cite your sources! Present your shoeshine box and your analysis to your class. Correlates to CCRA.R.1, CCRA.W.1, RH.6-8.2, WHST ARGUE IT! Through Georgie s character, Boyne highlights the pain associated with shell shock and the difficulty in recovery. Learn more about shell shock at and Beginning with World War I, research the evolution of doctors and society s changing attitudes toward mental illness associated with war (i.e., shell shock, PTSD, etc.) and the cures and services provided to the soldiers. Explore your own state s policies on veterans benefits and any psychological services it may offer to its veterans. Try to set up some interviews with veterans and state employees! Write an editorial arguing whether or not your state s department of health offers enough services for its veterans. Use specific evidence from your research to support your claims. Choose the best editorials in the class to pitch to your local or school newspaper. Correlates to CCRA.W.1, CCRA.R.7, CCRA.R.9 4
5 LITERATURE VS. INFORMATIONAL TEXTS Using the novel and outside informational texts (articles, letters, charts, maps, etc.), research how everyday people s lives in London, England, changed during and after World War I. Once the chart is full, continue your notes on the back and/or in your notebook. The first two are done for you. Before WWI During and/or After WWI Source In July 1914 in England, total employment of women was 24% By November 1918, total employment of women rose to 37% Alfie followed her into the kitchen and looked at the table where corned beef sandwiches, stewed tripe, pickled eggs... all laid out in a neat row (2). Tripe and onions, I m afraid. That s all we can afford (38). Stay Where You Are & Then Leave In small groups and then as a whole class, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using literature versus informational texts to communicate the effects of World War I on the people who lived through it. Notes: This guide was written by Erica Rand Silverman and Sharon Kennedy, former high school English teachers and co-founders of Room 228 Educational Consulting 5